At least 10 VPI leaders attended the American Democracy Summit in Los Angeles last week, engaging with thousands of fellow reformers and pro-democracy organizations from across the country.
The meltdown of our political system continues to manifest itself. In the past week alone we’ve nearly shut down the government (again) and seen the first ouster of the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. Our government should not function this way - and we might be tempted to believe this is normal, cyclical, or somehow self-correcting. It is none of those things. We must implement nonpartisan reforms that can change the incentives for candidates and elected officials. There’s hopeful news, though, across the country from Alaska to Maine, common sense military veterans of all political stripes are joining our movement to implement reforms. Check out some of the headlines below and news from across the country, and then do three things: 1) Forward this newsletter to someone who might be interested in what we’re doing, 2) Volunteer to join one of our state teams, or 3) Donate to the critical work we are advancing.
The Fulcrum: Veterans for Political Innovation: The FAQs of VPI
Most Americans and even veterans are unfamiliar with the relatively new organization, Veterans for Political Innovation - VPI for short. There are a lot of organizations out there, so allow me to quickly lay out the basic "five W's."
AEI: Conservatives Should Look More Closely at Systemic Election Reforms
Conservatives should recognize that many Americans are dissatisfied with the current state of governance, elected officials, and the two major parties.
FairVote: Could Ranked Choice Voting Prevent the Next Government Shutdown?
On Saturday, Congress passed legislation to fund the government for 45 days, kicking the immediate threat of a government shutdown down the road.
Ranked choice voting creates the right balance between rewarding candidates with broad appeal and incentivizing strong leadership
"I support Alaska's move to ranked choice voting because it's simple, it saves money with an instant/near-instant run-off, it cools down fiery rhetoric aimed at an already inflamed/aggrieved base & does it for BOTH sides of the aisle, and finally because it's inclusive.
As a retired Marine I have a very diverse political/social viewpoint and I'm not forced to pick a side and limit myself to what they decide to serve up during a primary. VPI lets me speak my voice in manner that WILL be heard by elected officials and maybe one day will lead to a more perfect union."
Brandon Brooks - Alaska State Volunteer | U.S. Marine Corps Veteran
MagicValley: VETERANS FOR IDAHO VOTERS: Leave no voter behind
A veterans’ commitment to service carries through to voting. Veterans are more likely to vote (65.8%) than nonveterans (61.7%).
OP-ED by Veterans for Idaho Voters: Todd Achilles (Boise), Army veteran; Marv Hagedorn (Meridian), Navy veteran; Barry Johnson (Moscow), Army veteran; Jim Jones (Boise), Army veteran; Rich Stivers (Twin Falls), Army veteran; Scott Syme (Caldwell), Army veteran; and Christie Wood (Coeur d’Alene), Air Force veteran
Ballot PA is a project of the Committee of Seventy and is a growing coalition of civic, community and business organizations committed to ensuring independents in Pennsylvania have the right to vote in primary elections.
Watch: Rocky Bleier, Super bowl champion and Vietnam Veteran, on why closed primaries are "un-American."
"It should come as no surprise that half of all veterans identify as independents.
When members of our armed services take the oath to defend our country, it’s not to serve the red team or blue team. They serve the red, white, and blue team. How can we ask them to put their lives on the line for our country but deny them their right to vote when they come home?"
Can ranked choice voting catch mice? Gene Krebs - Cleveland.com
This summer, state Sen. Theresa Gavarone, a Bowling Green Republican, introduced legislation punishing communities like University Heights that are interested in trying ranked choice voting (RCV) to improve their local elections.
Gene Krebs is an author, farmer and former GOP member of the Ohio House who is working for election reform. He appears often on PBS’s “The State of Ohio” and “Columbus on the Record” TV shows.
The oath we swear is to the U.S. Constitution, not a political party. But this isn’t represented in our political structure. In 2020, 83 percent of elections for the United States House of Representatives were decided in the primary. Historically in the United States, 75 percent of elections are decided in the first round of voting. In a closed primary system, we are silencing the voices of thousands of men and women who have sacrificed the most for our nation.
Better Ballot Arizona launches drive for open primary, ranked-choice voting - AZCentral
Election reform advocates launched a drive to put a ranked choice voting and open primary system on the 2024 ballot, which could end up crowded with two other measures addressing similar subjects.
The initiative by Better Ballot Arizona, the political sister group to Voter Choice Arizona, an educational organization operating in Arizona since 2020, would open primary elections to independent voters and go to a ranking system in the general election, said Kazz Fernandes, the group's executive director.
Other News and Articles
Party Members Only: The Bipartisan Scheme to Rig Presidential Debates - IVN Network
The Fox News headline on September 19 read: “Longshot Republican presidential candidates scramble to make 2nd debate next week.” But while former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson and North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum struggle to qualify for the September 27 debate, their situation could be worse.
They could have the audacity to run outside the major parties. As much of a hurdle as Hutchinson and Burgum feel like they face, they have far easier paths to the debate stage than third party and independent candidates.
October All-Hands Call Re-Cap
This All-Hands Call we celebrated our Veterans for Political Innovation 2nd anniversary! As we reflected on our past accomplishments, we also shared some big brand updates and welcomed feedback from all of our volunteers.
Attitudes and Experiences of Republicans in America
The report was conducted by More in Common US, a nonpartisan research nonprofit that works to understand the forces driving us apart, find common ground, and bring people together to address our shared challenges.
Cindy Black - Washington State Volunteer
Jeffrey Carson - Massachusetts State Volunteer
Steve Warnstadt - Iowa State Volunteer
Kevin Doffing - Texas State Volunteer
Gabriel Okamoto - California State Volunteer
Brandon Moody - Nevada State Volunteer
Janece Mollhoff - Nebraska State Volunteer
Nathan Atkins - Nevada State Volunteer
Alexander Corn - Iowa State Volunteer
Andrew Ward - Louisiana State Volunteer